The hardest I have ever cried in my life was when a fast food restaurant didn’t include the right dipping sauce in my order.
I realize how ridiculous that sounds. Let me explain.
In the weeks and months leading up to that order, my husband had been in and out of the hospital. Surgeries weren’t working. The doctors had no answers.
All through that time, I held it together. I juggled work, time at the hospital, and taking care of our house on my own….but I never dealt with the overwhelming emotions that were bubbling up inside of me.
That Zaxby’s order was the honey mustard that broke the camel’s back. When I opened the bag and saw the wrong sauce, I broke. I fell on the floor and sobbed until I hyperventilated.
Maybe you think I’m crazy. Or maybe, you can see your own dipping sauce moment coming. There is a weight that is crushing you, and you don’t know how to deal with it. The secret pain is eating away at your soul, and at some point and in some way, it’s going to come out.
While you probably know that you can’t handle it on your own, here are some practical ways I’ve learned to share the load:
1. Hire a professional listener
I can’t recommend therapy enough. I realize how scary it is to start the process, but there’s something about sharing your burden with someone who is ready to listen that’s freeing. And a lot of counseling centers have sliding scales that make it affordable.
Going to therapy doesn’t mean that you’re broken. But also, would it be the worst thing to admit that maybe we’re all at least a little bit broken? Or that continuing on with the burden you’re carrying will break you?
2. Find the people who can handle a little rain
This one can be a little tricky to figure out. Not everyone in your life can handle the weight of what you’re going through. It’s also hard to realize that you’re going to bring a little rain cloud with you wherever you go for a while and that you’ll have to ask others to stand under it with you.
The friends I had when my husband first got sick aren’t the same friends I have now. I had to find people who could understand the hard road I was walking. Some of that community came through social media–finding groups of others who were going through the same thing that made me feel a little more sane.
Whatever you’re facing, I promise you are not the only person going through it. Find at least one person who can understand, even if it’s a stranger online.
3. Actually take it to God
This is the most important and most obvious one, but it’s the hardest one to actually do. Why is that?
I think it’s because sometimes, when we’re so deeply hurting, we don’t always know how to trust Him with that hurt. We present it in a perfect Sunday school prayer and move on with our day. But what would it look like if you were gut-level honest with God? If you told Him you were disappointed, in pain, and maybe even a little angry?
I promise He can take it. And you’re not meant to carry this alone.